Think before you hit “ENTER”: Social Media Footprint and Online Identity

Social Media

How active are you on Social Networking sites? Have you ever thought about your social media footprint? Choose carefully before you leave a digital footprint!

There are various jargons used in recruiting world: online identity, social media screening,  data mining or vetting process. But the bottom line is that every company rely on social media screening while hiring a suitable employee.

We are living in an era where our social media presence and digital footprint has become an integral part of our identity. We are scrutinized for what we say, how we look and what we post. We are represented by our Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, Linkedin accomplishments, and you’re definitely judged for these. Social media footprint has become the fourth pillar in the job search process. As it gives an overview of what you are outside the realms of resume, cover letter, interview. This means that companies look into your social media profiles to evaluate your character and personality and it has even become a part of the vetting process. This also means that number of people are being fired for their social media posts.



“Former AngelHack founder Gregory Gopman had been hired to lead Twitter’s new virtual reality team, but within 48 hours, he was fired. Why? A public Facebook post from two years ago where he denigrated the “lower part of society” in San Francisco, lambasting the city’s entire homeless population in an odd, aggressive tirade.
TechCrunch, who broke the story of Gopman’s old post, criticized Twitter for hiring him: “For a company with such an abuse problem from trolls, it might initially seem like a double win that they’ve hired Gopman, a ‘VR expert’ who’s also voiced his passion for dealing with ‘degenerates.’ That is until you realize that the ‘degenerates’ he’s referred to as a “burden and liability” were SF’s homeless population.”” – FAMA 

So if you are a job seeker, you must think 100 times before you post anything on your social media profile. Don’t post provocative or inappropriate photos, don’t bad-mouth previous employers, discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or belief.

Social Media

7 Social Media Mistakes that may get you fired/ disqualify you for a job.

1)Making racist, sexist, or other offensive comments
2)Complaining about your job
3) Sharing confidential information
4) Derogatory or rude remarks towards past employers, colleagues or managers.
5) Posting inappropriate photos or images your being tagged in online
6)Questionable tweet, post or trolling comment
7)Violation of Social Media policies.

It is important to ensure all personal information remains private, change your passwords regularly and activate two-factor authentication. You can regularly Google your name and see what all comes up. You can also read on FAMA about how entry-level/millennial, mid-level employees and senior level executives are screened.

Every social media platform represents a different aspect of personalities. We are totally different on Twitter, formal on Linkedin and extremely casual on Facebook and Instagram but we need to be equally careful about what we post online.

Clearly, the pre-hire screening process is an integral part of the hiring process and the level of screening involved depends on the industry, demographics of the workforce and the organization’s core value system. There are pro and cons involved in everything but it shouldn’t violate the Laws and it shouldn’t be the end of the story. I strongly feel that the candidate must be given a chance to clarify.

Social Media Screening

What do you think about using Social Media screening in the hiring process? Do you think refusing to hire a candidate based on their private behavior unrelated to work is unfair?

Do you want to get a dose of inspiration to chase your dream? Then read it here.

Lots of Love!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by FAMA.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.



77 thoughts on “Think before you hit “ENTER”: Social Media Footprint and Online Identity

  1. I never know what to think about what you put on social media and where are the limits. Technically, if you do it on your private time and as long as you don’t insult anyone or you are not offensive, you should be able to express yourself.

  2. This topic is very important and I wish more people cared about it. Because you need your entire network to be careful about your footprint… Thank you for raising awareness about some dangers on social media!

  3. You absolutely hit the nail on the head there. My friend is a recruiter for a famous hospital chain in India. He too says that social media history of potential employees are usually checked. There are software that do it for them and produces an analysis on a page!

  4. This is a very important post that I think everyone needs to read and understand. Social media is crucial as well as dangerous. It can make us win as well as killed. Thank you for sharing.

  5. This is so important and I think most people do not think about it or what the future may hold. You never know who may have access to your social media posts/opinions/rants even years down the road and how it may hurt you!

  6. You hit the nail on the head with this post. Social media is huge in our world today. It has the potential to make someone and ruin someone. We need articles like this out there to remind folks!

  7. I’m always kind of amazed at some of the things people will put out on social media! I know a few people that have said things that came around and bit them in the behind!

  8. Great post! I think a lot of high school and college students need to be taught about the presence they’re leaving online and the impact it can have on their futures.

  9. Social media footprint is so important these days! I’m a recruiter & we do a lot of social media hiring & for niche hiring & senior hiring, we check social media accounts as well. Apart form LinkedIn, as you said, other platforms can also be traced & mark an impact. So, it’s really up to us to leave a positive or negative one! 🙂

  10. You are right that it is important to think of our social media footprint and the opinions that we express online. That is why it is important to not complain about past bosses online as potentially it can get you fired or not hired in the first place.

  11. It’s such a different world today than when I was looking for a job. Twenty years ago social media didn’t exist like it does today and there was no such thing as a digital footprint or employers looking at your social media presence. When I’m online, I always remember to write things with the same tone that I would if I were speaking with someone in person. x

  12. Social media has become such a big and normal part of our lives that we tend to take it for granted. We forget that once it’s out there, it’s there forever!

  13. In my past life as a manager at a major Telecommunications company – I can tell you I actually had to fire someone for writing derogatory comments on FB about the company and it’s staff… Vent to friends, not FB!

  14. Ahh yes! So many companies are now using Facebook and other mediums to stalk potential employees to get a gage for the type of person they are. I think after I worked in recruitment that I became quite careful in the things I shared on my Facebook and ended up turning the privacy settings to its highest to prevent this from happening! Having said this, making derogatory comments on social media should never be tolerated and shouldn’t happen period regardless of whether you’re interviewing for a job or not.

    Helen xx

  15. What a great post and everyone needs to have a check on their social media presence and what they comment/like or share. In one such case I actually saw one employee was fired since he made certain derogatory remarks.

  16. This is such an important subject and one that people don’t think about enough. I try to always remind my kids to be careful what they share on social media. On the other hand, I’m always glad to learn when people who post inappropriate comments are fired from their jobs. It’s one way to keep people accountable for their words.

  17. You are so right. Noone is totally safe on the net. Fortunately I got my job long before social media were a thing so I didn’t have to worry about that.

  18. I think it shouldn’t just matter for job interviews or footprint because fundamentally a person, regardless of freedom of speech should always think before they act, especially on social media. Thank you for bringing awareness to this topic though!

  19. Social media is so powerful these days. It is of course nice to share pieces of your personal life and opinions but we as adults should know the effects as well – and those are not just good ones.

  20. This is something that I really think about quite often! With four children who I share a lot about on my blog and on social media, I do worry about my social media footprint. I hope when they are older they are happy with my choices to share their photos, etc.

  21. Social media can help us in a lot of phases. But it can be dangerous for us to share and to put a lot of information true social media. This is such a great awareness to all of us. Before we click ENTER just think twice.

  22. This is so important. My uni offered a tool that would scrubbed your social media for you before you started reaching out to recruiters. People often forget while we have freedom of speech in regards to the government, it does not come with freedom of consequences. There have been too many examples where the public has demanded the dismissal of an employee because they are a representative of that company.

    1. Bingo! This is what I tell to the flag bearer of freedom of speech that we need to take account of freedom of consequences too… 🙂

  23. Wow, can’t help but to think how scary it is to go to an interview, let alone an interview where your *hopefully* prospective employer already know a bit about you! Which I wouldn’t mind at all, except if this is done without my consent, we are starting to live a truly Orwellian nightmare!

  24. Am being responsible on what I write and post. Because everything we post also needs accountability. That’s why am very keen in what to say in social media.

  25. I agree with you , sharing confidential things on social media can have negative effect on your job and mostly people don’t think about it while sharing.

  26. I guess it makes sense for employers in this day and age to use this type of screening, and if something inappropriate pops up, they’re clearly not right for the job. I try and think about what I post, particularly over on my blog, but would like to think my employer wouldn’t have any problems if my social media was tracked.

  27. I talk about this all of the time with my students at school. Your digital footprint is so important. I am a big fan of the THINK acronym (is it True/Helpful/Inspiring/Necessary/Kind

  28. This is very on point and I think that people are so unaware of this. Also, this is not only for job seekers but in all you do, be considerate and appropriate.

  29. I might be kind of liberal in sharing photos online, however if i would have my own kid, I might not share it too often, especially with a face. Just a way to protect a kid from any harm.

  30. Very informative article . I am perhaps one from may joob seeker using facebook or other social media . I am very aware our connection will give a judge from what we post about our self daily . So have to be very selective before we share pictures or post in any social media

  31. I believe social media now is part of your life your of your resume, When you go and apply for a job and they check in your social media they are looking at it as a reference on who you really are especially if you’re in customer service. I just recently became to work on all my websites to insure if someone looks me up can find about my work my hobbies and all

  32. These are important things to think about when it comes to social media and job hunting. You have to be careful with what you do. Whether I think companies should be trolling for that I am not sure. But they do. Now if they demand to know your information, that I am adamantly against.

    1. I agree with you completely! Social Media footprint has become a reality when it comes to a job screening of a candidate. 🙂

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